“When good Americans die, they go to Paris”, wrote the Irish playwright Oscar Wilde in 1894.
The French capital has always radiated an unmatched cultural, political and intellectual brilliance in the anglophone imagination, maintaining its status as the modern cosmopolitan city par excellence through the twentieth century to today.
We’ll Never Have Paris explores this enduring fascination with this myth of a bohemian and literary Paris (that of the Lost Generation, Joyce, Beckett and Shakespeare and Company) which also happens to be a largely anglophone construct — one which the Eurostar and Brexit only seem to have exacerbated in recent years.
Edited by Andrew Gallix, this collection brings together many of the most talented and adventurous writers from the UK, Ireland, USA, Australia and New Zealand to explore this theme through short stories, essays and poetry, in order to build up a captivating portrait of Paris as viewed by English speakers today — A Moveable Feast for the twenty-first century.
We’ll Never Have Paris has contributions from seventy-nine authors, including Tom McCarthy, Will Self, Brian Dillon, Joanna Walsh, Eley Williams, Max Porter, Sophie Mackintosh and Lauren Elkin.
"Funny, allusive, clever... an entire volume devoted to the idea that the city can never live up to the Paris of the imagination."
"Readers might come to this book for its celebrated contributors — the novelists Will Self and Tom McCarthy among them — but they should stay for the efforts of its lesser-known lights."
"Gallix’s accomplishment has been to draw together some of the finest voices in contemporary writing, while creating a sense of balance among the many desires, reminiscences, and voices of the many visions of Paris found in the book’s 561 pages."